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Topic: More on the Gregorian Calendar
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Lou Talman

Posts: 876
Registered: 12/3/04
More on the Gregorian Calendar
Posted: Oct 24, 1995 3:53 PM
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Also (with much snipping) from the New Grolier, cited earlier:

Year Beginning

The Roman year began in March; December, whose name is derived from the Latin

word for "ten," was the tenth month of the year. In 153 BC, Roman consuls
began taking office on January 1, which became the beginning of the year.
This practice was retained in the Julian and Gregorian calendars, although
other starting dates continued to be used; England and its colonies, for
example, used March 25 and the Julian reckoning until 1752. Thus, George
Washington was officially born on Feb. 11, 1731, Old Style (O.S.); this is
Feb. 22, 1732, Gregorian, or New Style (N.S.).

The Months

In every Western European language, the names of the months retain their Roman

origin. English names are January, for Janus, god of beginning and endings;

February, derived from Februalia, a time for religious atonement; March, for

Mars, the god of war; April, from aperire, Latin for "to open" (as, spring

flowers); May, for Maia, the goddess of plant growth; June, from juvenis,

"youth"; July, for Julius Caesar; August, for Augustus, first Roman emperor;

September, from septem, "seven"; October, November, and December, from octo,

novem, and decem, "eight,", "nine," and "ten." (The earliest Latin calendar
had only 10 months, with September as the 7th month and December the 10th.)

Bibliography: Achelis, Elisabeth, The Calendar for Everybody (1943; repr.

1990); Bushwick, Nathan, Understanding the Jewish Calendar (1989);

Freeman-Greville, G. S., The Muslim and Christian Calendars, 2d ed. (1977);

Keane, Jerryl, Book of Calendars (1981); Michels, A. K., The Calendar of the

Roman Republic (1967; repr. 1978); Monaco, James, The French Revolutionary

Perpetual Calendar (1982); Parise, Frank, ed., The Book of Calendars (1982);

Schocken, W. A., The Calendar of the Mayas (1986).

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